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Our detection and monitoring challenges are due in part to the low number of U.S. Navy platforms available to support JIATF South’s mission. Since 2007, Navy long and medium range ship allocation has steadily decreased. The last time we were above 1.0 was 2014—and not by much. Since 2015, when the Navy’s frigates were decommissioned, we have averaged a Navy presence of less than .50. Under the Commandant’s superb leadership, our Coast Guard partners are doing everything they can, punching well above their weight by helping us partially fulfill a portion of our Title 10 detection and monitoring obligations. The USCG, however, cannot be the indefinite bill-payer for our statutory mission. This Committee is well aware of the maritime platform gaps we have experienced for the past few years. In the near term, we are exploring non-traditional alternatives to fill these requirements until more Littoral Combat Ships are in the fleet and available for assignment to USSOUTHCOM.
Posture Statement of Admiral Kurt W. Tidd Commander, United States Southern Command Before the 115th Congress Senate Armed Services Committee 6 April 2017 (Washington: U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services, April 6, 2017): 31 <https://www.armed-services.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Tidd_04-06-17.pdf>.